Around the UFT

Reason to celebrate

50th anniversary of the founding of Medicare and Medicaid

50th anniversary of the founding of Medicare and MedicaidMiller PhotographyUFT nurses, child care providers and retirees at the celebration. UFT nurses, child care providers and retirees joined dozens of other union members and health care advocates for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Medicare and Medicaid on July 30. The birthday bash at the downtown offices of the Professional Staff Congress, the AFT affiliate representing City University of New York faculty and staff, was an opportunity to honor the significance of these life-saving programs that are under threat from conservatives in Congress. “Medicare and Medicaid are lifelines for tens of millions of older, disabled or indigent Americans, and we must fight mightily to preserve them,” said UFT Vice President Anne Goldman, who is the head of the Federation of Nurses/UFT. The twin health insurance programs were enacted on July 30, 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society package of social and economic reforms. “Medicare and Medicaid are integral to the health and well-being not only of our UFT retirees but also to the families and children whom our in-service members serve,” said Vince Gaglione, the treasurer of the UFT’s Retired Teachers Chapter. Many UFT family child care providers also depend on the programs, said Stephanie Brade, who oversees the provider chapter’s grants for professional development and health care. “As self-employed business owners who often have trouble making ends meet, many providers receive Medicaid,” Brade said. “So do many of the parents and children we serve. It only makes sense for a union of providers to fight to preserve, improve and expand these programs.” 

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